These Christmas gifts came about quite by accident. I was working on a recipe for vanilla extract as gifts for Christmas. I then thought most people would not think ahead and make the extract months in advance.
Vanilla sugar does not require that. Only a few days of the vanilla bean nestled in the sugar and you are good to go.
Wrap it in a pretty bow with a tag on it and who wouldn’t want this as a present?
I have foodie friends that only buy the Madagascar Vanilla from the store. I am sure you have seen it. It has a hefty price tag. Depending on where you get it, it could be $15.00 per bean.
I was never a brand name type of gal. I guess because I am a cheapskate. If I can find something cheaper that looks about the same, then I purchase the cheaper almost all the time.
I don’t think I have ever met a vanilla bean I didn’t like. Any kind of vanilla bean is fine with me. They are so good in so many things.
After doing some research I found there are three main cultivars of Vanilla.
Vanilla Panifolia, commonly known as Bourbon Vanilla. It is named after the Bourbon region from where it is grown. It is also known as Madagascar.
Vanilla Tahitensis, grown in Tahiti or other parts of the South Pacific and Vanilla Pompona found in the West Indies, Central and South America.
I bought a pound of chef quality Vanilla Beans and I paid $ 19.95 for them. They charged me about $10.00 shipping and I had them on my doorstep in about a week.
There were at least 100 pods in my package and the smell was intoxicating.
I am in the process of making homemade vanilla extract. Did you know that Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after Saffron? I am so rich! I got my vanilla here.
1 vanilla bean split in half
4 cups granulated sugar
Air tight container (glass is best)
Split the bean down the middle.
Bury it in the sugar and close the container.
It will take about a week for the vanilla to infuse with the sugar.
Peace be with you,
Copyright 2012 Veronica Gantley